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First Hearing (FHRDA) Advice Required
#1
Dear Members,

I have first hearing (Child Arrangements Order) in September and need to start preparing.
 
I am thinking of representing myself and need advice on what should I be looking forward to? 
What are the important things I need to consider?
Do I need lawyer?
I have done my position statement and have to post tomorrow.

Please any advice will be useful and any information will be much appreciated.
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#2
We're here for you buddy but it might be easier to ask specific questions.

However, if its the first hearing FHDRA have you been asked to file a position statement with the court and other party? if not, do not send it yet, you will give the other side your game plan.

As it says, its a dispute resolution hearing so the court hearing wont be too long, the judges will ascertain what the issues are and try to come to an agreement. If no agreement can be reached then they will state what needs to happen for the next or final hearing.

You dont need a solicitor, I think its best to represent yourself because then the judges can see you, understand how much it means to you and how nervous you are.
A lot of it will depend on your specific situation, any claims of DV, abuse, whether CAFCASS will be involved etc etc.

Maybe if you say what contact you have now and what you're asking for. Age of child etc. then we could help a little more.
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#3
(08-18-2018, 01:13 PM)Naive Wrote: We're here for you buddy but it might be easier to ask specific questions.

However, if its the first hearing FHDRA have you been asked to file a position statement with the court and other party? if not, do not send it yet, you will give the other side your game plan.

As it says, its a dispute resolution hearing so the court hearing wont be too long, the judges will ascertain what the issues are and try to come to an agreement. If no agreement can be reached then they will state what needs to happen for the next or final hearing.

You dont need a solicitor, I think its best to represent yourself because then the judges can see you, understand how much it means to you and how nervous you are.
A lot of it will depend on your specific situation, any claims of DV, abuse, whether CAFCASS will be involved etc etc.

Maybe if you say what contact you have now and what you're asking for. Age of child etc. then we could help a little more.
Naive Thanks for your response.

I have been contacted by Cafcass and the email said some one will be in contact but its almost 16 days I have not received any call so I am not sure if it is normal. 

In brief my details as listed:

Hearing Date: 10th September

Child is 2 Y 3 Months

Position Statement : I have developed one but waiting for right time to send. When should I send it?

Current Contact: Pickup from nursery on two weekdays with best contact of 30-40 minutes on those days. Agreed to see little on Saturday but best contact is 2-3 hours. Since she has received court papers she has started supervised contact. Initially it was unsupervised.

My ex refuses overnight contact, cannot bring little one to my place, cannot spend full day. 

My Ex always refers to my behavior with little one when she was under one. The incident in brief was my bonding with my little one was not great and on one weekend I requested my ex and her mother to help me accompany with little one to park but both refused. I took little one on my own but she cried non stop - so I brought her back within 10 minutes but as soon as I reached back they both started shouting at me. This is what she always refer saying that it has impacted her - but now she has been coming with me etc.

So this is in brief of what my situation and hope will be sufficient to advise me on how to prepare.
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#4
You dont have much to worry about mate, You had unsupervised contact before [can you prove it?], which stopped as soon as you filed for court. That can easily be shown as spite.

Yes CAFCASS is normal, you'll get an email a week or so before and should have the report a few days before court. They will speak to ex first so they will likely ask you about park incident. If you are both self representing then CAFCASS may turn up to your first hearing and bash heads to get an agreement. As long as you are flexible with the timelines for advancement, and willing to do whats needed to make it work you should be fine.

The courts deal with domestic abuse, alcohol and drugs, I really dont believe they are going to be concerned with a cautious father that brought the child back to mother when in distress, if anything thats to be commended, it was nearly two years ago and irrelevant now child is over two. They will give overnight contact after 2 yrs but I suppose it depends on how much youre asking for. You're much more confident as a parent now right!

Dont write a position statement yet, but have something similar that you can read from, bullet points etc. No evidence is allowed in court at first hearing. If it goes to a final [disputed] hearing then the interim order will state when the position statements need to be filed.

So theres two things you need to be clear on at first hearing. what contact you want, how you are going to facilitate it, [got medicine, food, spare clothes, toys, bedroom, drop offs and pick ups] You need to have it super organised.
Secondly if it goes to a final hearing then what contact would you like in the meantime, if no overnights existed before, then they wont order it in the interim. Ask for a full unsupervised Saturdays and extra time for dinner after nursery for example.
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#5
want to follow this thread as I'm in similar situation. Ex changed contact ( informal one) from unsupervised (4 months) to supervised for absolutely no reason. I will be preparing a position statement too. I'm expecting Ex not to agree to anything at first hearing which means I will need to see CAFCASS at some point. 

Question - As my child is under 2 years, can I ask CAFCAS to see for themselves my relation with my child ?

Thanks Sean
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#6
(08-20-2018, 01:50 PM)Naive -- My wife is planning to extend court date citing health reason. She said she has emailed court. I have replied saying then it becomes more urgent to discuss about child arrangements specially her care in such scenario - But no reply. To add she is moving away from where I am and has not told me where and I am worried how will she take care etc... what cane be done? Can anyone advice? Naive Wrote: You dont have much to worry about mate, You had unsupervised contact before [can you prove it?], which stopped as soon as you filed for court. That can easily be shown as spite.

Yes CAFCASS is normal, you'll get an email a week or so before and should have the report a few days before court. They will speak to ex first so they will likely ask you about park incident. If you are both self representing then CAFCASS may turn up to your first hearing and bash heads to get an agreement. As long as you are flexible with the timelines for advancement, and willing to do whats needed to make it work you should be fine.

The courts deal with domestic abuse, alcohol and drugs, I really dont believe they are going to be concerned with a cautious father that brought the child back to mother when in distress, if anything thats to be commended, it was nearly two years ago and irrelevant now child is over two. They will give overnight contact after 2 yrs but I suppose it depends on how much youre asking for. You're much more confident as a parent now right!

Dont write a position statement yet, but have something similar that you can read from, bullet points etc. No evidence is allowed in court at first hearing. If it goes to a final [disputed] hearing then the interim order will state when the position statements need to be filed.

So theres two things you need to be clear on at first hearing. what contact you want, how you are going to facilitate it, [got medicine, food, spare clothes, toys, bedroom, drop offs and pick ups] You need to have it super organised.
Secondly if it goes to a final hearing then what contact would you like in the meantime, if no overnights existed before, then they wont order it in the interim. Ask for a full unsupervised Saturdays and extra time for dinner after nursery for example.
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